Monday, January 29, 2018

Pineries Bank – 3601 Main St.

Stevens Point, WI


President Baker opened the Public Hearing at 5:32 p.m.  Also present were board members Gordon Renfert, Randy Busch and Jim Sachs.


The purpose of the hearing was to explain the Advisory Referendum Ballot for Fire Protection that will be on the February 20th ballot for 2018.  In addition to the explanation of the ballot, the purpose of the hearing was to allow the residents’ time to comment and ask questions.


The Public Hearing was properly posted in three public places and published on the Village website and the Portage County Gazette.  A postcard was also sent to each resident’s home notifying the residents of the Public Hearing.


President Baker opened the hearing by thanking the Pineries Bank for the use of their facility.  President Baker also thanked all the residents (approximately 50 residents) for attending and taking interest in their Village.  The Village residents were provided with a sample ballot and a documented power point presentation.


President Baker introduced the candidates for the Village Trustee positions that will be on the ballot for April 3, 2018.  Trustee Renfert will not run for the Trustee position for 2018-2019.  President Baker thanked Trustee Renfert for all his years of service to the Village of Park Ridge.  President Baker introduced the following candidates that will be on April 3, 2018 ballot:  Randy Busch, Steve Menzel and Christine Neidlein.


President Baker read aloud the power point presentation and talked about the sample ballot.  There are 3 options for the residents to choose from.  It was stressed with great importance that the residents only pick 1 option.  If the resident votes for more than 1 option, their ballot will be destroyed and not counted.  President Baker presented the pros and cons of each option and provided information regarding each option.


The hearing was opened to the public for questions and answers.  Several residents took this opportunity to address their concerns.


Resident Ken Vogel (610 Sunset) asked if Grants were available to assist with the cost of the Fire Department trucks and/or building.  Chief Lepper said that Grants are not normally approved for small communities.  Ken also asked about the math equation for Option 3, based on the number of households in the Village.   The village of Park Ridge has approximately $37,000 budgeted for the Fire Department.  The resident’s taxes would be increased to cover the remaining portion of the cost to contract with the City of Stevens Point.


Resident Conrad Favor (703 Greenbriar) talked about the resident’s responsibility if their house is on fire:  #1.  Get Out;  #2.  Stay Out;  #3.  Call for Help (911).  Conrad also provided copies of “Home Fire Safety” from the American Red Cross.


Resident Carol Colby (27 Hazelwood) mentioned that the ISO for insurance is based on zip codes.


Resident Dave Gliniecki (112 Greenbriar) had concerns regarding the difficulty of recruiting volunteers for the Fire Department.  Chief Lepper said the Village of Park Ridge currently has 19 volunteer fire fighters.  Only one volunteer is a resident of the Village.


Resident Keri McLean (610 Sunset) asked how many fire calls the Fire Department receives.  Chief Lepper said there are approximately 5 – 10 calls each quarter (3 month period).  The majority of the calls received are for Mutual Aid.  The Village of Park Ridge has not had a house fire in many years.


Resident Bob Gifford (517 Fieldcrest) talked about the pros for Option 1.  Bob encouraged the resident to choose Option 1.


Resident James Lamar (403 Greenbriar) talked about the “Band-Aid” approach the Board has taken in the past.  Jim mentioned that we may not have volunteers available forever…the village needs to have a long range plan.  Jim encouraged the residents to choose Option 3.


Another resident had concerns about Option 3 and the lack of information provided.  She questioned why negotiations have not taken place with the City of Stevens Point yet.  Negotiations with the City will take place if the Residents/Board decides to move forward with Option 3.


The Public Hearing adjourned at 6:30.


 __________________________                                            _________________________

Kathy Bemowski, Clerk                                                         Patricia Baker, President